You know you are growing up when you are reminded of the fact that we are not all created the same as one another. Which can be hard to believe in New York City when I see carbon copies of various archetypes running around the city. But beneath the phrased T-shirt and matching iphones we are not the same. No brain chemistry is identical to another. So that being said, I am going to speak of myself, as the aforementioned point makes it clear that I can not speak for anyone else.
When I was little, (yes I am going there) I was never like any of the other children that I encountered for many reasons. One of which was that I knew at a very young age that I didn’t have the same thoughts as everyone else that I played with. By the age of 10 years old I remember being obsessed with my own mortality and the mortality of others.
I never really felt comfortable in own body, I remember feeling as if my body didn’t belong to me. I lived in an old barn house in a small town in Pennsylvania and I never felt that I was alone. There were many spirits that came and went in that house, whether it was the baker with the kind face who got up every morning to bake bread and muffins. Or the thin little boy with the dark eyes who drowned in the corner of my bedroom.
People often complain to me about mice in their apartment, and it makes me laugh as I recall the time I watched my mother running away from a bat that had found its way into her bedroom. I have always had a fascination with bats because they are like rats that tricked the system and are proclaiming, “fuck you cats! I have wings now!”. I swear there is point to all this… So I guess the short version of the story is that I was always different…
People often ask me, “so how long have you been doing this?” and I want to say, “first grade career day”. In first grade I was given the assignment of choosing a job and dressing like a person from that field and coming into class for a show and tell type of thing.
My poor mother! I come home and I say, “mom! I want to be an artist for job day” So I go out and I get an apron because I didn’t have one as I was not a professional yet and I cover it in paint and the next day I show up to school with a briefcase full of paint brushes and a pallet, I think I even wore a beret! We go around the circle and learn how everyone wants to be a doctor, lawyer or nurse. BORING! Then we get to me and I say, “I want to be an artist! I want to do whatever I want and make art!” Everyone laughs and my teacher says, “well thats not really a job…” HARDY HAR HAR! I had every art book from Van Gogh to Kandinsky at home and I frequently flipped through them fascinated that you could make a life for yourself by creating things.
I knew in that moment that I had to show these idiots… I mean truthfully my ability to paint is really quite sad. I draw and it looks like hieroglyphics beating the shit out of each other. I couldn’t play pictionary to save my life. If you had a gun to my head and you said, “alright buddy lets see you draw anything that isn’t a really shitty cat” I would be gone!!
Later on I discovered my love for performing (yes I really am gay) and eventually in my teen years I finally found the right medium in photography. I mean really it was perfect for me. Hide in the dark and create things that really happened. WIN WIN! Like a mad scientist. I wanted to be a crime scene photographer or photojournalist. meow meow meow! But after doing the school yearbook and newspaper I realized something very important. Number one, the teacher in charge of the yearbook had way too much alcohol in her desk… and secondly the more I focused on Photography the more that I really missed performing. So I decided to make my work into large productions, the models being actors and I got to tell the whole story from my point of view and it still actually happened.
It all kind of kept going until I graduated high school, and went to college for photography. During my time in school I modeled for other people for class and thats how the modeling thing happened… again just a small way to keep my foot in performing. So I feel that should clear up the misconception that modeling came first or that modeling was my dream job. Nope.
So the point of this is to illustrate that I am retiring from modeling. There are millions of pretty faces out there and frankly I am just not okay with being just that in the eyes of anyone. I want to tell stories and paint the town black. My mind is growing as my looks are depleting so I better jump off the crazy train now. It was always about helping others tell their stories and inspiring others to be as weird as they really are. But I realize now that I can do that better through my creative pursuits. I am always interested in having my portrait taken. I love to see the way other artists see me. But a fashion model I am not.
I only pray that anyone reads this. That anyone gets it and I mean truly gets it even enough to keep reading. The end.